10 die in renewed targeted attacks in Karachi
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, July 14 ,IRNA -- Nearly 10 people were killed and over tow dozens injured in renewed overnight incidents of firing and targeted attacks in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, police sources said Thursday.
Supporters of the powerful opposition group Mutahida Qaumi Movement or MQM took to the streets in Karachi and other main cities in Sindh province of which Karachi is the capital after a provincial minister passed certain ‘derogatory’ remarks about the MQM chief.
MQM leaders said that senior Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza also offered objectionable remarks about the Urdu-speaking people, who had migrated to Pakistan from India in 1947 after partition.
Police and paramilitary forces were unable to control the situation but police sources said that several suspects had been rounded up.
MQM recently quit the ruling coalition led by Pakistan Peoples Party, and relationship between the two former allies has been tense since then.
Speaking at a reception late Wednesday night Dr Mirza accused the MQM leaders as criminals and claimed that they are involved in extortion of money from the businessmen.
The MQM described the remarks as highly objectionable and announced to hold protest rallies in Karachi and Sindh province on Thursday.
As the MQM supporters watched speech of Dr Mirza about their leaders, they took to the streets and burnt tyrs on roads. Firing started in several areas and police and hospital sources have now confirmed death of nine people over the past few hours.
Local TV channels reported that 23 people were injured and around 25 vehicles, including buses, an oil tankers and passenger coaches, were burnt by unidentified people. All night fast food markets and restaurants could not be opened due to violence.
Residents said on Thursday that all main markets, which open in the morning, could not be opened and all patrol stations are closed. Transport Union has announced they would not run vehicles on Thursday.
Two main universities have postponed all examinations for Thursday and announced they would remain closed.
President Asif Ali Zardari has taken strong exception to the remarks made by his party’s Provincial Minister, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said. He said the party has also distanced itself from the statement of Dr Mirza, in a move to defuse tension.
TV channels reported violence in Hyberabad, the second largest city in Sindh province and also in other cities.
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